Friday, January 31, 2014

Guide Report: Jan.26-31 Bus Trip

Guide Report
Campo Cortez at San Ignacio Lagoon
January 26 thru 31st

By Norma Lira

Coyote that is a frequent visitor at our camp
Camp Coyote
Up close Gray Whale Encounter
Up Close Gray Whale

  It never fails to amaze me how serene Campo Cortez is, and this trip was no different. The only sounds we heard upon our arrival to the camp were the wind and the waves, and the calls of the numerous sea birds that migrate through the area every year.

17th Century Mission
 The temperatures couldn’t have been better during our stay. It was warmer than usual during the days, with beautiful sunsets and cool star-filled evenings. Mornings began with a fresh cup of coffee, fresh juice and a hearty breakfast. And then it was off to venture out into the Laguna, for the real reason for our trip: close encounters of the friendliest kind!   Our tour group was the first to the camp this season, and its members hailed from near and far: from Depoe Bay, Oregon, Mammoth Mountain and Hermosa Beach, California, to Dover, England.   Each member brought his and her own unique enthusiasm to Campo Cortez. We all immediately connected at the meet-up spot in San Diego where we then boarded the shuttle to begin our Baja adventure.

Museum Cave Paintings

Whale Petting

We bonded during the bus ride south, and when we arrived at camp we were tired but very enthusiastic to get out onto the water. Everything was prepared and awaiting our arrival. After settling into our private cabanas, we had a fantastic lunch before heading out in our pangas (skiffs) to meet these beautiful and majestic whales.  Laguna San Ignacio is part of Mexico’s El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve, which is the largest wildlife refuge in Latin America. 

During the winter months, the Baja lagoons also happens to be the primary calving ground of the magnificent migrating Pacific Gray Whale, and large numbers of these whales are seen up close and personal. During these months, you can count on incredible observations of courting and mating whales, Fluking, Breaching, Spy hopping as well as mother whales and their newborn calves. The mothers (or cows as they are called) teach their young calves how to navigate through the lagoons and prepare for the eventual long trip home.

And this trip didn’t disappoint. We had several of the cow-calf pair’s swim right up to our boat.   Their enormous size dwarfing our little panga. But there was nothing to fear from these gentle giants, as the mother whales would push their calves up to the panga’s, as if to introduce us to each other. If you ever get a chance to look straight into the eye of a mother or baby whale that is looking right back at you, you will be changed forever. And the beautiful thing is…if you’re lucky, it may happen more than once, as it did on our trip.

The guests were over joyed with the Campo Cortez experience. For those who may not get a chance to return to the lagoons, they will have incredible memories to last a lifetime. For those fortunate enough to get a chance to return in the future, that time can’t come soon enough. As a Marine Naturalist I am so very grateful to have the opportunity to meet so many amazing people that love their encounters with nature, including the magical moments in the Laguna. Sharing these unique and very special experiences with those who have the same appreciation makes it that much more memorable.

Ballenas Grises de Laguna San Ignacio

Reporte de GuiaGrupo  del 26 al 31 de Enero 2014De Rubi Gabriela Moreno Cordero

Empezamos la temporada 2014, con un grupo  procedentes de Europa  y USA, en compania de su Guia experta en mamiferos marinos, Norman quien cada ano viene con sus grupos de visitantes, gente interesante y divertida… salimos en las embarcaciones desde nuestro Campo llamado Cortez, hacia el area de observacion que esta a un par de kilometros del campamento… con la emocion de cualquier persona que por primera vez en sus vidas estarian frente a estas hermosas ballenas,  que nos regresan a nuestros ninos internos y nos hacen olvidar cualquier otra situacion de la vida diaria, asi iniciamos la Aventura !!!!!

Aqui apreciamos el gusto de nuestras amigas Monica y Robin quienes  por primera vez en sus vidas habian tocado una ballena, nos platicaron que en su casa de Oregon Coast en Depoe Bay, ellas pueden ver el paso migratorio de la ballena gris, pero nunca habian tenia esa cercania unica y emocionante con las ballenas como la que solo se puede viviren esta laguna, todo fue perfecto ese dia la marea calma nada de viento, un clima delicioso… en cuanto entramos al area de observacion pudimos apreciar unos macho cortejando a una hembra en intento de apareamiento, mas tarde se asercavan y jugueteaban a distancia corta de nuestra embarcacion una madre con cria hasta que finalmente nos permitio tocarla, fue un dia de gran suerte porque la madre con su cria quizo disfrutar del toque gentil del Humano en una interaccion amorosa.

Nuestra amiga Yaky de Inglaterra quien venia acompanada de su hermano Martin y su cunada Tony, nos demostravan que la verdadera  juventud esta en el alma, Yaky compartio con nosotros unos momentos de yoga y relajacion en el campo, siempre con su alegria y llena de bromas…recordandome que la vida se debe vivir como si hoy fuera el ultimo dia de ella…gozamos juntos en la embarcacion de cantos dedicados a las ballenas, hasta que por fin tubimos exito y un par de ellas llegaron a juguetear  cerca de nosotros, mas tarde vimos dormir a una cansada madre con su cria al lado, un ballenato inquieto por seguir jugando, pero respetamos su sueno y solo contemplamos a distancia de la paz y armonia en la que estos seres tan hermosos pueden tener en la laguna San Ignacio, lugar donde las cuidamos y protejemos como miembros de nuestra propia familia !!!!

English Translation:
We started the season 2014, with a group from Europe and USA, in the company of your guide expert in marine mammals, Norman who every year comes with its groups of visitors, interesting and fun people... leave in boats from our camp called Campo Cortez, towards the observation area which is a couple of kilometres from the camp... with the excitement of any person who for the first time in their lives they would be facing these beautiful whales that they return us to our inner children and make us forget any situation from everyday life, so begin the adventure!

Here we appreciate the taste of our friends Monica and Robin who for the first time in their lives they had touched a whale, they told us that at his home in Oregon Coast in Depoe Bay, they can see the migratory passage of the gray whale, but never had I had that unique and thrilling proximity to whales as that can only be viviren this lagoon, everything was perfect that day the calm tide nothing of wind, a climate delicious... as soon as we entered the viewing area could appreciate a few male courting a female in mating attempt, later as we got closer and sported short distance from our boat a mother with offspring until finally she allowed us to touch it, was a day of great luck because the mother with her offspring wanted enjoy the gentle touch of the human in a loving interaction.

Our friend Yaky of England who was accompanied by his brother Martin and his sister-Tony, we demostravan that true youth is in the soul, Yaky shared with us a few moments of yoga and relaxation in the field, always with his joy and full of jokes…reminding me that the life must be lived as if today were the last day of her…we enjoyed together in the craft of songs dedicated to the whales, until they finally had success and a couple of them came to tinker close to us, later we saw sleeping at a tired mother with her calf to the side, a calf restless by to continue playing, but we respect his dream and only we contemplate distance of peace And harmony in which these beings as beautiful can have on the Laguna San Ignacio, where the care and protect as members of our family! 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Gray Whale Census For San Ignacio Lagoon, Jan.27, 2014

Gray Whale Census Report #3
San Ignacio Lagoon
January 27, 2014

Report from Campo Cortez & the Biosphere Reserve
January 27, 2014

Gray Whale Calves:  56
Gray Whale Adults: 121

Total Gray Whales: 177

Monday, January 20, 2014

2014 Trip Calendar Update: (January 20, 2014)

2014 Trip Calendar Update

Below is our latest trip calendar update. Most of our trip dates are now sold out with only a few remaining spaces for our 5 day air trips. The whale season this year is one of the best ever....see the latest census data.

  To join one of our trips in February, you will want to contact us immediately.

FEBRUARY 5 Day Air Special:
Feb. 5-9 departure:  10% discount for our LAST available cabin on this departure

Feb. 9-13:  (we have 3 cabins left for SIX guests): first booking receives 15% discount and remaining two bookings receive 10% discount.

**for booking discount mention BLOGGER DISCOUNT.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

January 18, 2014 Gray Whale Census for San Ignacio Lagoon

Gray Whale Census 

San Ignacio Lagoon

January 18, 2014

Census taken at San Ignacio Lagoon on January 18, 2014 in the Vizcaino Biosphere.

Adult Gray Whales:  62
Gray Whale Calves:  22

Total Gray Whales:  84

Thursday, January 16, 2014

2014 Trip Calendar & Availability

January 16, 2014

Here is our latest trip calendar with availability as of TODAY: Jan. 16.

We WILL have some Specials on a few of our upcoming February Air trips for those guests that can make last minute plans to travel so stay tuned as these will be last minute specials.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Jan. 10, 2014 Gray Whale Census: San Ignacio Lagoon, Baja, Mexico

2014 Official Census
Our First Official Whale Count of 2014

Gray Whale Census for San Ignacio Lagoon

Date: Jan. 10, 2014
Adult Gray Whales:  23
Gray Whale Calves:  07

Total Gray Whales:  30